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How To: 8 Easy BBQ Grill Cleaning Tips

How To: 8 Easy BBQ Grill Cleaning Tips

The summer might be winding down, but with football season starting, there is still plenty of grilling left to do! Here are a few tips to make grill cleaning easy, keeping your BBQ in the best condition so it will last you and your family a long time.

Regular Maintenance

1. Brush the grill grates

Weber Grill Grates

When you’re finished cooking, take your grill brush and scrub off any excess food from the gas or charcoal grill grates while the grill is still hot. Hot grill grates will make it much easier to brush off any hardened food build-up. Brushing regularly only takes a couple of seconds and will help maintain the cleanliness of your grill. You can use Piggy’s BBQ Grill and Grate Cleaner and a plastic putty knife to return your grates and other inner proponents of your grill to their original grease-free shine.

2. Clean out the Ash Basket

To keep your charcoal grill clean, clear out the ash basket every so often to keep your grill from getting too clogged. If you’re going for a long, slow cook, make sure the basket is clean before hand so you don’t have to worry about an inconvenient pile-up.

3. Cover your Grill

Green Mountain Grill Cover

Covers protect your barbecue from the weather and dust build-up, and they significantly decrease how much grill cleaning would be necessary to maintain your BBQ, which means less work for you in the long run. It’s a win win!

4. Make it Shine

C;ean Stainless Steel Knobs on a Weber Grill

After a while, your grill might start to pick up some dust and dirt, so wipe your grill down with vinegar for a quick fix to maintain your barbecue’s shine.

Deep Cleaning

 5. Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat*

If your grill is in need of some tender loving care, it might be time for a deep clean. Using warm, soapy water, start on the inside of your grill and move from the top down as you make your way to the outer shell. Non-stainless and chrome surfaces can be cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner. You can repeat this process again to clean away extra tough dirt and grime. A deep clean will extend the lifetime of your grill and in turn, you won’t have the need for BBQ grill maintenance anytime soon.

*don’t actually use shampoo to clean your barbecue.

6. How to: Stainless Steel

On stainless steel and chrome, avoid using abrasive cleaners and brushes. You’re grill has provided you with great food, so be gentle with it in return. Piggy’s BBQ Cleaner works well on stainless steel and chrome so you don’t have to worry about scratches. Buff your grill by rubbing a thin layer of flour into the surface, and wipe off the excess when you’re done. To top it off, use Citrushine stainless steel polish to ward off fingerprints.

7. Don’t forget to clean your accessories!

BBQ grill brush

Make sure to clean all of your grilling accessories while you’re in the process of washing your barbecue. And while you’re soaking your spatulas and bathing your brushes, don’t forget about the burner tubes and the cook box on gas grills, or the ash tray if you have a charcoal grill. To truly get a deep clean on your barbecue, you must wash everything. 

8. Just Ask Aqua Quip!

Aqua Quip BBQ Grill Cleaning Services

If cleaning your grill is proving to be a daunting task, you can set up an appointment with our BBQ cleaning specialist to come out and do all the tricky work for you. And while we service your barbecue,  you can relax and plan what you’ll be grilling for dinner!

9 Pro-Tips for Grilling your Best Burger

9 Pro-Tips for Grilling your Best Burger

Of all the things to cook up on a grill, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Burgers. And why not? Burgers are delicious. Especially if they are made the right way. So, your friends here at Aqua Quip did some digging to figure out the best tips for grilling the perfect burger. No need to thank us.

1. Don’t buy pre-formed wannabe burger patties

You want to be in total control of the outcome of your burger, right? You can’t leave anything to chance, and that includes your burger meat. So instead of reaching straight for the already-formed, two dimensional “hamburger” meat, grab the ground chuck instead.

2. Make sure the beef has an 80/20 lean to fat ratio

Here’s a tip from one of our very own: never, ever, ever, use cheap 90% lean ground beef; avoid the hockey-puck burger, and get it right the first time. With 20% fat, you’re on the right track to a nice juicy burger.

3. A little goes a long wayolebobhickory

Speaking from experience, adding a lot of spices will make you feel cool, but it won’t actually do much for the burger itself. Do your burgers a favor, and just stick with the basics: salt and pepper. Or, if you want to have a little fun with your burgers, pick up a jar of your favorite John Henry’s BBQ seasoning from your nearest Aqua Quip store!

4. Be extra gentle while forming your patties

This burger is your baby: caress it; love it; give it a nice warm hand hug before laying it down for a quick nap in the grill, and remember that if you’re too aggressive with your burger baby, it will become too tough and it might not come home for holidays.

5. Separate the ground beef into 5-8 oz. patties, flatten them out to 1 inch thickness, and make sure the patty is the same width as the bun

Because nothing is worse than finding that perfect bite, only to find out that it was just bread.

6. Create a small divot on the top of the burger patty to ensure that it doesn’t puff up while cooking

Ever tried to pick up a big, rounded burger, plus toppings and buns? Hint: It doesn’t end well. So for totally flat, yet juicy burgers, all you have to do is make that tiny dimple with your thumb.

Photo from the Food Network
Photo from the Food Network

7. After preheating your grill to medium or medium/high heat, throw the patties on and LEAVE THEM ALONE.

It’s always tempting to poke and prod and push down on our patties while they cook, but the best way to do it is to just leave them be. You really only need to flip the burgers once after 4 or 5 minutes. And whether you’re using a Big Green Egg or a Weber grill, always keep the hood open, or else you might overcook your burger.

8. Cook the patties for 4 minutes on each side and use a thermometer to test the internal temperature (make sure it hits 160°); do NOT cut into that patty.

For a perfect medium rare, four minutes on each side is all you need; if you want your burgers done more medium, just add an extra minute on each side. Then, when the burgers look close to done, check the temperature, not the color. Use a meat thermometer to test if the patty has reached 160°, but don’t cut into it because you’ll release all of those wanted burger juices.

9. In the final few minutes of grilling your burgers, add cheese to the tops of the patties and throw some buttery buns on the grill.

A toasty bun creates that delicious “crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside” texture, and adds a layer of delicious flavor to your already mouthwatering burger. Just one to two minutes on the grill should do the trick. Then while those are toasting, move your burger to a cooler side of the grill and toss a slice of cheesy goodness right on top and watch it melt away with all your troubles.

And there you have it! Your perfect burger. For more fun burger recipes, look no further than here! 

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

To gobble up the left overs!

There is an infinite amount of ways to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. But what is the best way? Lucky for you, we’ve got your Thanksgiving turkey covered. (In gravy of course.) So here are some great tips and tricks for your best Thanksgiving turkey–courtesy of our friends at Weber.

Ingredients:
1 14-pound turkey, fresh or thawed
½ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 orange with zest, quartered
olive oil
salt and pepper
butcher twine

Instructions:

1. Bring the butter to room temperature and mix with the rosemary and thyme.

2. With a pair of poultry shears, remove the wing tips.

Starting at the bottom cavity, use your fingers to separate the turkey’s skin from the breast meat.  Work slowly up towards the neck being careful not to split or tear the skin.

3.  Once separated, work equal amounts of butter on to both breasts and down towards the thighs. Season the inside of the turkey cavity with salt and pepper.  Place the orange quarters inside the cavity and truss the turkey with the butcher twine.

4. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Tip: For crispy skin, leave the turkey uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Season the outside of the turkey with salt, pepper, and the orange zest.  Rub all over with olive oil.

 

Back to (Old) School

Back to (Old) School

Parents! It’s that time again! September is just around the corner, and you know what that means: Back to school (AKA spending all sorts of money on new crayons and markers that your kids insist they “need”–trust me. Been there, done that). But instead of stressing about back-to-school errands, just remember there are still a few days left before school starts, and you still have time for one last hurrah! Now’s your chance to throw one last pool party for you and your kids, and we’re here to help with the planning.

No matter how old we get, we’re all still kids on the inside, so here are some tasty recipes that bring delicious twists to some of the classics.

To skip to the good stuff, click here ↓

Cup o’ Dirt
Pizza Grilled Cheese
S’mores Bar

Cup o’ Dirt

Think back to your childhood. It’s a sunny, summer day; there are grass stains on your clothes that are so fresh you can still smell them, and in the far right corner of your yard, you see it. That big, beautiful, brown mud pit. It’s calling your name, and like any other kid, you neglect any hygienic common sense, so you dive right in and start building the most perfect, sloppy, and delicious mud pie. 

Since eating said mud pie wasn’t very tasty (and frankly, looked down upon), we’ve discovered a happy and just as lovely alternative: Dirt Pudding Cups (Cups o’ Dirt). Chocolate pudding, Oreo crumbles, and gummy worms combine wonderfully to make the grossest and yet most deliciously muddy dessert you can find. Here’s how to do it!

Ingredientsworms-in-dirt-pudding-cups-recipe-

1, 15 oz. package of Oreos (or similar cookie)
1, 3.9 oz. package chocolate instant pudding
2 cups cold milk
8 oz. whipped topping (cool whip/reddi whip)
24 gummy worms

Directions

1. Make the dirt: put all of the sandwich cookies into a gallon-size ziploc bag and then use a rolling pin to crush them until they are at what you consider “good quality soil”.

2. Make the pudding: Pour the dry pudding mix into a large bowl and add cold milk. Whisk it all together until it’s smooth, and then let it sit for about 5 minutes until it thickens.

3. Mix it all together: Add the whipped cream and most of the cookie crumbles to the pudding, and gently stir until you have a good, muddy-looking texture. (If you really want it to look gross, mix the gummy worms into the pudding mixture as well). If not, go ahead and stick them right on top and surround them with the Oreo cookie crumbles.

Now you’re ready to go!

Pizza Grilled Cheese

Here is an obvious, and well-known fact: People love pizza.
Obvious, well-known fact number two: People love grilled cheese.
So….why not put them together?!

This is one of my favorite recipes, and it’s not just because it’s pizza on a grilled cheese. (Okay, you got me. That’s most of it). The other reason is because pizza is so versatile, that regardless of what you put on your pizza grilled cheese, it will be absolutely delicious. For now, here’s the recipe for a basic pepperoni pizza grilled cheese:

Ingredients:pizza grilled cheese

1/4-1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded or sliced is easiest and melts the best, but if you want to be fancy, feel free to go with the really fresh kind)
5-6 Pepperoni rounds
1/4 cup of Marinara Sauce
2 slices of Bread (Sourdough, French bread, whole grain…whatever makes you happy, it’s all delicious)

(Quantity depends on how many you are serving. For now, this recipe calls for one sandwich)

Directions:

First! You must prep your grilled cheese: Spread the marinara sauce evenly along one slice of the bread. (If you put too much on, it gets really messy, really fast.) Now, layer on that cheese–I suggest just enough so that you can’t see the marinara sauce under the cheese. Up next, you’re going to put on the pepperoni (5-6 small rounds works well on one sandwich)–At this point, you may be done loading your sandwich, however if there are other delicious toppings the kids would like, I might suggest a “Pizza Grilled Cheese Bar” where each person can pick the best toppings to go on their sandwich.

Once you’re all prepped, put your sandwich together and butter the outer side of each slice of bread. This will give you a nice, crispy coating when you’re all done. If you want to add some more flavor, sprinkle some Italian seasonings over the butter or even better, Parmesan cheese.

The best way to cook this delicious pizza sandwich? The grill. I mean…it’s called Grilled Cheese for a reason! So, set your grill for 350º F. Once it’s all heated and warm, align your sandwich with the grates of your BBQ so it really gets that “grilled” look to it. Cook on each side for about 2 and a half minutes or until the bread is a nice, golden brown color. Just make sure to keep an eye on it! After 2 and a half minutes, flip your sandwich and repeat. If the cheese isn’t melted all the way, turn the grill down to low and let it sit until your sandwich is what you consider to be the perfect consistency.

This sandwich will have everyone asking for a “PIZZA” that grilled cheese!

S’mores Bar

There aren’t many people in the world that would turn down a classic S’more. These melty chocolate, boiling hot marshmallow, and crunchy graham cracker sandwiches tend to win, hands down, in the “best campfire dessert” category. Kids these days love switching things up daily, so why not create an exciting twist with a classic S’more? Here are some ideas of what to get:s'mores bar with reese's butterfinger hersheys nutella and other great ingredients!

1. Various chocolate bars (Reese’s, Butterfinger Cups, Kit Kats)

2. Different sandwich options (graham crackers of course, chocolate chip cookies, Nilla wafers)

3. Spreads to pump up the flavor (Nutella, Cookie Butter, Peanut Butter, Caramel)

Don’t have a campfire? Keep your barbecue on! S’mores cooked on the grill will make sure your marshmallows and chocolate sandwiches are perfectly melted, and wonderfully gooey. All you have to do is prep your S’more, wrap it in heavy-duty foil, and put it over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the marshmallow is melted. Perfectly classic S’mores, customized to your liking, and absolutely delicious.

Side note:

Want some pool party themed decorating tips? In our last post, “Use your Noodle” I included a link that has over 50 different ways to use pool noodles, including ways to decorate your home. Here is that same extensive list. Enjoy!